Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Making a logo from one character of type, part of Illustrator CC 2015 One-on-One: Mastery.
- [Instructor] We're going to start things off by taking the single character of type and turning it into a bullseye logo and then we'll repeat that logo in order to create the effect of the rings wrapping in on themselves and then finally, we'll create a ring of rings. Now if you're working along with me, you might want to take a look at the contents of the layers panel. I'll go ahead and twirl open this top layer called at symbol and notice that it contains a couple of items, if I target this bottom object, you can see that it's a character of point text that's set in the font, myriad pro black.
Now if you don't have the black style loaded on your system, then as opposed to working from the editable type, you can work with this object right here which is called shape and it's actually that same character of type converted to a compound path. Now of course I do have this style so I'm going to work from the editable type. I'm going to start things off by locking this layer for the moment and I'm going to twirl closed as well and then I'm going to create a new layer by alt or option clicking on a little page icon at the bottom of the layers panel and I'll go ahead and call this guy rings and I'll change its color to light red and then I'll click okay.
Now I'm going to zoom out a bit and I'm want to create a bunch of circles around the at sign. Now the actual A is close to a circle with an actual diameter of 50 points. While its outer ring is very close to a circle set to 100 points. And so I'm going to trace this symbol using the polar gray tool is the easiest way to work. So go ahead and select that tool from the line tool fly out menu and make sure your smart guides are turned on. Now alter option click at the intersection of those two center guides to bring up the polar grid options dialogue box.
Now I want each of my circles to be 50 points larger than the first one. So I'm going to take 50 and multiply it times five, so 50 * 5 and that gives me a width value of 250 points. I want these objects to be circles so I want the height value to match. Then I want to take 250 and divide it by 50 which gives me a total of five concentric circles. Now you have to remember that you always have one big circle around the outside and so you're really just saying how many other circles you want.
So I'm going to take that number value down to four, I want to make sure the skew value is set to zero degrees so that all the circles are spaced equal distantly and I don't want any radial dividers so I'll change this value to zero and I'll leave the two check boxes off at which point I'll click okay in order to create those circles. And then I'll go up here to the line weight value and I'll set it to 12 points and that will approximately match the thickness of the at symbol. So notice if I change the color of the stroke, to let's say blue just so it stands out but indeed the 12 point line weight does come very close to matching the thickness of that ring around the at symbol.
Now I don't want to group as I've seen over here on the far left side of the control panel, so I'll go to the object menu and choose ungroup or I can press control shift E or command shift E on the Mac, I've still got a group so I'll press that shortcut, control shift E or command shift E on the Mac a second time in order to ungroup all the circles so that we have five independent path outlines. Now press the V key to switch back to my black arrow tool, I'll click off the pass and then I'll select the innermost one which we don't actually want and I'll press the backspace key or the delete key on the Mac to get rid of it.
And that'll leave us with these four circles; the innermost one of which, you can see, if I select it, and click on the word transform measures 100 points wide by a 100 points tall. Now what we want to do is duplicate this layer just so that we don't harm the original circles by clicking on the fly out menu icon in the top right corner of the layers panel and choosing duplicate rings. And then you want to turn off that original so that you don't hurt it. Now go ahead and unlock the at symbol layer and I'll click in the top right corner in order to select that character of point type and I'll duplicate it to the ring's copy layer by alt or option dragging that purplish square until it turns red.
And that will give us a duplicate as we're seeing here. Now I'll turn off the original at symbol layer, I'll double click on an empty portion of the ring's copy layer and I'll go ahead and rename it, first of all get rid of the word copy there and then I'll click in front of rings and just enter an at symbol so that it reads at rings. Now I'm going to change the color to gold even though it doesn't really matter and I'll click okay. Now we want to convert this character of type to a compound path, if it already is a compound path you can skip this step.
But if you're working with that live editable type, then you need to go up to the type menu and choose create outlines or you've got that shortcut of control shift O or command shift O on a Mac which is going to produce this effect here that gives us a group, we don't need that, so go to the object menu and choose ungroup in order to expose the compound path. And it has to be a compound path because the A has a hole cut out. Now you want to press the A key to switch to your wide arrow tool and then you want to very meticulously select a few points here.
Go ahead and click on this anchor point, shift click on this one and then shift click on each of these two and shift click on these two as well and then, with those six points selected go ahead and press the backspace key here on the PC or the delete key on the Mac to get rid of them. Now I'm going to zoom in even closer and what we're going to do is modify the at symbol just a little bit so that it declines into this first circle. So I'll go ahead and select this anchor point right there and then you want to move it up until it snaps into alignment with this anchor point now remember that I set the line weight to 12 points, so I want to move this point down half that distance or six points and so I'll press the enter key or the return key on the Mac to bring up the move dialogue box, then you want to set the horizontal value to zero and you want to set the vertical value to 12 divided by two, if you like or just six points.
After which point click okay in order to accept that change. Then select this top anchor point, drag it down until it snaps into alignment and then again press the enter key or the return key on the Mac, set the horizontal value to zero and then change the vertical value to negative six this time around in order to move the point upward to exactly where it needs to be and click okay. Now we just need to make some modifications to the control handles. Notice that this handle right here is exactly horizontal, we want to maintain that, so go ahead and press the shift key while you're dragging that handle.
Now obviously I've gone too far but I did that on purpose, so now I can shift drag it back outwards until it very nearly matches this edge. So you don't want it to go any farther than that, otherwise you'll get a little bit of a lump. Now go ahead and select this anchor point, notice that its control handles once again are horizontal and so you just want to shift drag this guy inward a little bit until you get a nice match. And this time you want to take this edge past the edge of the circle ever so slightly because otherwise if you don't, then you'll get a lump or more accurately a crease right about here.
I'll go ahead and press control z or command z on the Mac to undo that change and I will zoom out by pressing control minus or command minus a few times and then I'll press the V key to switch back to my black arrow tool I'll marque all of these blue rings and I'll change the color of the stroke to black so that everything matches. And then finally, I'll go ahead and zoom out here and I'll press control A or command A on the Mac to select everything and then I'll switch to this scale tool which of course you can get by pressing the S key.
Notice that by default the origin point is right smack dab in the middle, that's what I want. Now I want to increase the size of the bullseye so that it better fits the document by pressing the enter key or the return key on the Mac to bring up the scale dialogue box. And I just figured out through trial and error that a uniform value of 144% is going to work nicely. You do want to make sure that scales strokes and effects is turned on so that you increase the line weights proportionately at which point click okay to accept that change.
Now press the V key to switch back to my black arrow tool, I'll click off the shapes to deselect them and I'll turn off the guides layer. And that's how you take a single character of type and turn it into an expertly rendered bullseye logo here inside illustrator.
- Top-secret tricks for shortcut enthusiasts
- Selecting and editing with more control
- Customizing the Illustrator toolbox
- Adjusting opacity with shortcuts
- Using advanced blend mode tricks
- Working with the Brushes panel
- Seamlessly repeating patterns
- Using the logo-making features in Illustrator
- Using the Libraries panel
- Working in 3D space